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Overcrowding crisis: Without help, Harnett shelter may have to euthanize dogs

September 6, 2018

The Harnett County Animal Shelter almost euthanized five dogs on Wednesday due to overcrowding.

According to Barry Blevins, the Harnett County Director of Animal Services, the dogs in pens 0, 2, 11, 13 and 14 were scheduled to be euthanized Wednesday, as they had been in the shelter the longest. By 11:30 a.m., officials decided not to euthanize the dogs due to interest from rescues and the public.

According to Blevins, the shelter resorts to euthanizing only to make room for hundreds of other animals.

“Although we do not use euthanasia as a tool, it becomes a necessity when we are forced to make hard choices,” said Blevins. Those choices come down to public safety, including rabies control.”

Although today’s story has a happy ending, the struggle is far from over.

“We need to move 7 to 8 dogs by Friday,” said Blevins. “We are at capacity at the shelter and backed up on animal control service calls with an estimated 300 strays to be picked up.”

Since the shelter is at capacity, public adoption fees are reduced to $40 for dogs and $20 for cats until 4 p.m. on Sept. 11.

Rescues do not need to pay a fee to pick up dogs.

A full list of all the animals up for adoption, including the five dogs on final hold, is available on the Harnett County Animal Services website.

Typically, adoption fees are $55 for dogs and $45 for cats.

Officials noted that the reduced fee does not include the cost of additional procedures the animal may need, including heartworm testing.

The Harnett County Animal Shelter is located at 1100 McKay Place and is open for public adoptions on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Blevins encourages pet owners to spay and neuter their animals to prevent homeless dogs and cats.

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